US general admits China is capable of blockading Taiwan island

The commander of the US 7th Fleet said that China is capable of deploying forces to surround the island of Taiwan, stressing that Washington needs to be prepared.

“They have a very large navy. They have the power to deploy warships around Taiwan to put pressure on the island,” Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, commander of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, said in an interview published by the US Navy. announced on September 19.

Vice Admiral Thomas said it was impossible to know if China would blockade Taiwan or launch a military operation to reclaim the island by force, but stressed that the US military’s mission was to be ready for any eventuality.

He also expressed hope that Beijing would resolve tensions in the Taiwan Strait by peaceful means, warning the international community would take action if China blocks the island. “If they carry out indirect operations such as siege and blockade, instead of an all-out attack, the international community can work together to find a way to handle the challenge,” said Vice Admiral Thomas.

China's amphibious assault ship Jiangshan in the South China Sea in a photo released on February 21.  Photo: PLAN.

The Chinese Type-071 amphibious ship moves in the South China Sea in a photo released in February. Photo: PLAN.

The Chinese armed forces have faced many difficulties in inter-service cooperation, which is a modern method of combat. This is seen as a potential weakness for the Chinese military, but Thomas said Beijing has made a lot of progress in this area.

“Chinese military aircraft have made many long-range flights over the ocean, while only the Chinese naval air force did this four years ago. Their synergism has been much better than that of the PLA Navy. compared with 5 years ago, there is even a marked improvement compared to last year,” added the US general.

US President Joe Biden said on September 18 that US forces would defend Taiwan if the island was attacked. He also affirmed that Washington’s “One China” policy has not changed. When asked to comment on Mr. Biden’s remarks, a White House spokesman confirmed that the US still maintained its policy with Taiwan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning later objected to Mr Biden’s comments, adding that Beijing had handed over a protest note to Washington. Mao affirmed that China reserves the right to use all necessary measures to respond to activities aimed at dividing the country, calling on the US to act “with caution and correctness” in matters related to Taiwan, warning Washington newspaper did not cause serious damage to bilateral relations and peace in the Taiwan Strait.

China has always considered Taiwan as a province awaiting reunification and declared its readiness to use force if necessary. The US is committed to respecting the “One China” principle, but continues to maintain relations with Taiwan and provides the island with modern weapons.

Tensions around Taiwan escalated after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island on August 2-3. China reacted harshly by holding unprecedented large-scale live-fire drills in six areas around Taiwan and imposing sanctions on Ms.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 14 passed the Taiwan Policy bill 2022, which would allow the US to significantly increase military support to the island if passed. China described the US bill as sending “severely false messages to pro-Taiwan independence separatist forces”.

Vu Anh (Theo Wall Street Journal)

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